03/10/11 4:41 PM ET
Brown will no longer fiddle with hand placement
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He held his hands high in the batter's box.
Brown had been fiddling with the positioning of his hands since before Spring Training started. He lowered them because the Phillies felt it would shorten his swing and allow him to better handle certain pitches, but he never felt comfortable, and the positioning changed from game to game, occasionally from at-bat to at-bat. He went hitless with nine strikeouts in his first 15 Grapefruit League at-bats before singling up the middle on Saturday.
"I just said, 'Forget it. I'm going back to what got me here,' " Brown said on Thursday morning at Bright House Field.
It just so happened that was the at-bat in which Brown fractured the hook of the hamate, ending his Spring Training and necessitating Tuesday surgery in Philadelphia.
Brown, whose hand is in a cast, could be back on the field in four to six weeks.
His hands will remain high upon his return.
"That's the key for me," Brown said. "The other thing did not work with the hands down. That's going to take time, and I really don't have time to spare like that, especially coming from winter ball. I didn't have enough time to prepare myself with the lower hand angle."
Brown sounded confident that he will return to his prior ways once he is healthy. He received an enormous amount of attention this spring, as he is one of the top prospects in baseball and fighting for a job in right field, where the Phillies are trying to replace Jayson Werth.
He handled the attention well.
"As long as I'm doing the right things on and off the field, I'm good," he said. "I just wanted to get comfortable again."
Brown will get comfortable in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will start the season.
"Hey, that's no problem," he said. "We'll go to Triple-A. Like I've said always, I'm only 23 years old."
Mayberry making a name for himself
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. continues to show his versatility and power this spring.
Mayberry went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer on Thursday in a 7-0 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field. He is hitting .286 with two doubles, three home runs and four RBIs in 11 Grapefruit League games.
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Spring Training Info
Mayberry played first base on Thursday. He played the position regularly during college at Stanford but has been an outfielder since he turned professional. He was asked by two reporters if playing first base is like riding a bike.
"I haven't ridden a bike in a while, either," Mayberry said.
"Mayberry has gotten better over the last couple of years," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's time for him to really take off and show he can handle a Major League job. We have him at first base now for a reason. When we want to rest [Ryan] Howard, Mayberry hits lefties good. When we want to rest Howard, we can. And he can play all three outfield positions. ... John has to show he can hit right-handed pitchers."
Halladay shows no ill effects of black eye
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Roy Halladay looked a little like a boxer on Thursday at Bright House Field thanks to his black right eye.
He sustained the injury a few days ago while bunting in the batting cage. An errant ball from the pitching machine came at Halladay's body, so he threw up his bat to block it.
"It was self defense," Halladay said.
The shiner hardly affected Halladay on the mound in a 7-0 victory over the Yankees, as he allowed four hits and struck out two in six scoreless innings. He has thrown 11 scoreless innings in three Grapefruit League starts.
The Yankees had runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth inning, but Halladay induced a groundout to end the frame. It was as close to regular-season drama as a pitcher and hitter get in Spring Training.
"You're obviously trying to work on things, but you still want to compete," Halladay said.
Bocock to have injured wrist examined
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Infielder Brian Bocock left Wednesday's game against the Tigers with an injured left wrist.
X-rays were negative, but Bocock could have tendon or ligament issues. He is headed to Philadelphia to see hand specialist Randall Culp.
Bocock had gone hitless in seven Grapefruit League at-bats and was a long shot to make the team out of Spring Training, but he also is one of the few shortstops in the organization with big league experience.
Second baseman Josh Barfield went 2-for-3 with a triple on Thursday. He is hitting .538 with one double and one triple in six Grapefruit League games. He is worth watching with Chase Utley out indefinitely with knee pain. ... Right-hander Michael Stutes continues to impress. He retired Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson in order in the seventh inning. He has allowed three hits, one run and struck out eight in six innings in the Grapefruit League. Manager Charlie Manuel said that umpire Brian O'Nora told him Stutes had "hard, late life" on his ball. "He said his ball really takes off," Manuel said. "He said that was the first time he saw that this year." People in the Phillies organization also like Stutes because of his stuff and competitiveness. ... There were 10,718 fans at Thursday's game. It was the second-largest crowd in Bright House Field history.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.